You know how on those old tv shows the mom always says “Be sure to wash behind your ears?”
Well, when you shower instead of taking baths, specifically washing behind your ears isn’t something that occurs to you much. I mean, pretty much the shampoo and the water pressure take care of any dirt I may have accumulated back there. I assume. I can’t actually see back there. But my husband has never complained, so I’m guessing things are AOK back there.
The thing is, little bald babies don’t take showers with huge amounts of shampoo. That means you have to make an effort to scrub behind their ears, otherwise things get mighty gross back there.
I can’t even tell you how long it took me to figure this out. An embarrassing amount of time, that’s how long.
Once I finally got around to washing behind Lily’s ears, I couldn’t seem to get them clean. I would scrub and scrub and scrub, and while things originally got better, at some point they remained about the same.
I would give up when she got antsy and assume it would take more washing at the next bath to fix the issue.
Every time I looked behind her ears (usually not in the bathtub. It was really hard to see at that angle.), it looked filthy disgusting. I couldn’t figure out why it was getting so dirty back there so quickly. My husband alternated baby bathing duties with me, so I would blame him for not scrubbing back there like I did. I would blame Lily’s tendency to play with her ears while she ate finger foods or played in dirt. I blamed an awful lot of things.
It took my four years to figure out that the reason Lily’s ears always looked so filthy wasn’t because she was a filthy dirty child or I was a negligent bather. It was because Lily has cafe au lait spots and pigmentation behind her ears.
I didn’t figure this out for FOUR YEARS. I really thought she was just getting dirty fast or I wasn’t scrubbing hard enough.
I don’t know why this didn’t occur to me. This is not her only cafe au lait spot. She has one on her thigh close to the diaper area I used to confuse with diaper-related residue (My husband, mother AND sister have made the same mistake, so either I’m really not that dumb or we ALL are that dumb.).
I guess the next time I try to scrub something off my kid for FOUR YEARS, I should make sure it’s not permanently attached.
The lesson here is either that figuring out your kids’ weird pigmentation issues is harder than it looks OR I am a complete moron. Or a little of both.